Oohhs and Aahs

The students release captivated ohhs and ahhs as we introduce and share the projects from the 4th and 5th grade classrooms at Cliff Valley School. Each image proves to be as enthralling and enchanting as the last.  The students clap as their eyes scan the classroom and they take in each unique drawing.  Amy howls like a wolf as she explains one particular picture to the class and everyone erupts into belly-crunching laughter.  She urges Richard – a new teacher at E.P. and the token male out of the twenty-six on staff – to demonstrate his best animal impression.  He is shy to respond to our appeals, but a young student, far at the back of the room, suddenly tilts his head to the corrugated tin roof and lets his best wolf cry rip.  We laugh some more before watching as the students get to work using markers and pencil crayons to decorate their pages and transform them from white to bright. We are impressed by the stories included – A Message Around the World – which use well-researched information to add impact and weight of kids making a difference by sharing in how to clean in environmental disasters. We le dodzi!


We move one classroom over in the block to share the stories and masks created by the students at Summit Charter School. Rejoice joins in, reading the stories and demonstrating the use of the hand puppets to her students.  We are particularly intrigued by the family story that led to the creation of Raggedy Ann and Andy (Erin recalls dressing up in homemade Halloween costumes of these characters as a child).  There is no doubt that the children enjoy these projects.  They are instantly enamored with the masks, wearing them during class and taking them outside, with permission, at break.  The students struggle, however, with the stories and it proves to be a challenge to get them settled and focused enough to write their own.  We will return to work with this class again next week.